Friday, November 23, 2012

Celebrating 3 Years


I wonder when a child's birthday stops bringing you right back to their actual birth day? On Thanksgiving we celebrated the twins' third birthday. Just thinking about their birthday sends me right back to that day--I can smell the hospital's hand sanitizer and taste the fear in my mouth.

On Saturday night, November 21, Levi and I went to the movies. That afternoon we'd purchased our final "major" baby item, our carseats, and gone to dinner. It was a great day together. During the movie I'd noticed some "cramping" and decided to get up and walk around the theater to see if they would subside. They ended up coming every 15 minutes. When we got home and they weren't slowing down, I called the labor and delivery unit as instructed, and they recommended I come in to get checked if they started speeding up, which they didn't. I was 34 weeks along and still believed I'd have babies on their due date: January 1, 2010.

The next morning I noticed more cramping as I got ready for church, and I even remember putting my friend's hands to my stomach after church to let her feel what a contraction felt like. I just figured I was on my way to bedrest.

After church Levi made us lunch and I took a spot on the couch, trying different positions to let get the cramping to subside. I figured I'd better start timing the cramps because if I had to call the hospital the nurses would certainly ask. After 10 "cramps" in an hour (I'd refused to call them contractions) I decided to call, which earned me a trip to the hospital.

On our way out the door Levi asked if we should grab our cell phones and I said not to bother. I was sure we'd be back in a couple hours, and the only change would be a prescription for bedrest for me.

When we arrived at L&D they noticed I was effacing and contracting, and after receiving meds to try and slow down labor I was still progressing. Babies were coming. Today. Now.

Since my first childbirth experience was also considered an emergency situation, the cloud of fear hung over that L&D unit for me. In fact since that experience I'd attempted visits to friends with new deliveries and I just couldn't. I'd make it to the sign-in desk and have to send a nurse in with my gift and apologies.

On that Saturday afternoon the doctor remained very calm but explained that Everett was breech (he was Baby B) so a cesarean was recommended. OK, fine, but were we seriously going to HAVE BABIES TODAY?

The moment she yanked them out of me the entire room full of scrub-dressed folks breathed an audible sigh of relief. For their age they were big and very responsive. Each baby weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces.

Levi at about 5 days old

Everett, also 5 days old

Since they were wheeled straight away to the special care nursery I didn't get to see them for many hours, but the kind nurses brought me printouts of digital pictures of my boys. I was in the thickest of fogs: fatigued, shocked, drugged, and elated.

Since this was the winter of the H1N1 flu, only Levi and I were allowed to hold our babies, who never saw a room outside of that nursery. Even family who visited could only look at them through a 6 inch-wide pane of glass, that was by sneaking them down a back hallway to the staff entrace.

I remember being discharged on that Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, driving home without babies. I don't mean to be melodramatic, but to leave a hospital once again without babies was excruciating. The twins were not ready to come home, and we were told it could be a month or more before they were eating well enough and stabilized.

I went to the hospital twice a day for that week a half after my discharge, snuggling and feeding the babies who I was convinced had no idea I was that mother. The cold wind hitting us every night as we left after the 9pm feeding was a cruel reminder of our babyless house. For some reason I just could not believe that a day would come when everything was fine and we would have a house full of screams and dirty diapers.

Boy, was I ever wrong. (Levi is on the left in all pics except where noted.)

Everett (l) and Levi (r)




Way to go on getting me all teary eyed! Love these boys and I love remembering with you the day they were born. It was scary to say the least but it was so relieving the day they came home from the hospital. Happy 3rd birthday Levi and Everett! I love you!


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